James B. Urban Scholarship Fund Endowment

This fund was established in 1980 after the death of Dr. James B. Urban, and was endowed in 1983. These funds provide scholarship support for deserving undergraduate and graduate students majoring in geosciences. Preference is given to students studying paleontology.  

Dr. Urban was killed in an airplane crash along with his wife and son on Oct. 17, 1980, in Buffalo, Wyoming. Dr. Urban was an adjunct associate professor of geosciences at UTD at the time of his death. After leaving the geosciences faculty in January 1980 to operate his own oil-drilling business, he was appointed adjunct professor and supervised the work of three graduate students. Dr. Urban also was a consultant to several major oil companies at the time of his death.

During his tenure at UTD, Dr. Urban was the first head of the science education program, building it into a department that provided quality instruction to local teachers seeking a master’s degree in science education; chairman of the geosciences graduate program; and acting head of the Institute for Geological Sciences. Professor Urban joined the faculty of UTD’s predecessor, the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies, in 1967, and had been a faculty member throughout the University’s history. His specialty was palynology – the study of pollen and spores. 

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